Getting cut AND having a balanced life?

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    Jan 11, 2009 12:25 AM GMT
    Hi Guys,

    I'm sure I'm not the only one who wishes there was 36 hours in a day, so this is more asking for a reality check.

    My gym goal is to get cut - a nice swimmers build and bumps in all the right places.

    I'm a junior exec working damn hard to make an impression, and after commuting 75 mins each way, I put in at least an hour per day at the gym (+ 20 mins swimming at lunch), and I eat right.

    I don't do any party drugs (I've discovered this the secret to a lot of gay boys' bods).

    I'm currently only getting about 45 mins family-time per day and my social life is what I can squeeze in on the weekend. I refuse to give up drinking alcohol altogether (although I have discovered that I am less and less interested in drinking).

    I guess I'm just wondering if I'm trying to do too much? Is it possible to balance home/work/gym and attain my goals, or do I need to be more realistic?

    Thanks for your comments guys

    W
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    Jan 11, 2009 1:42 AM GMT
    First off, the "cut swimmer's build" is total bullshit. Swimmers are neither very lean NOR toned. Did it for years in high school and we were all a bunch of tiny, smooth fuckers.

    If you wanna get nice and tight, eat at least six times a day to coax your body to burn calories, and swap your 40 minutes of swimming with 20 minutes of HIIT. You'll gain a little extra muscle eating more often, you'll also get leaner doing it, and the HIIT will jack your metabolism higher, make you eat more, and also make your body a hyper-efficient fat-burning machine. You do that HIIT twice a day and you'll get as low as 4-6%.

    And don't do the party drugs: meth messes you up and you'll lose fat, muscle, and maybe a few friends along the way. Alcohol is ok as long as you're not sucking down those dessert liquors.
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    Jan 11, 2009 1:55 AM GMT
    What do you mean by "HIIT"?
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    Jan 11, 2009 2:08 AM GMT
    High
    Intensity
    Interval
    Training

    Google is your friend.


    As to the OP question: most people in the USA are tying to do too much. It´s just the culture. What else can I say? Move to France maybe.
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    Jan 11, 2009 2:22 AM GMT
    mming at lunch), and I eat right.

    I don't do any party drugs (I've discovered this the secret to a lot of gay boys' bods).

    I'm currently only getting about 45 mins family-time per day and my social life is what I can squeeze in on the weekend. I refuse to give up drinking alcohol altogether (although I have discovered that I am less and less interested in drinking).

    I guess I'm just wondering if I'm trying to do too much? Is it possible to balance home/work/gym and attain my goals, or do I need to be more realistic?

    Thanks for your comments guys

    W[/quote]

    Since you need to use your time for maximum effect forget swimming. Cut out all processed carbs and sugar. This will switch your metabolism into lean build mode. Eat all of the meat and veggies you want. Don't worry about fat. The low fat myth of the 1970's was been busted ...its was just bad science.
    The 12 week Workouts on here are great for what you want to achieve. Work your core as the fundamental focus and then add chest, shoulders. Add squats if you want to get big fast and can eat enough to fuel the growth.
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    Jan 11, 2009 2:29 AM GMT
    Prioritize!

    What do you want and how much do you want it?

    I work 9a to 6pm. I have no transportation so I walk 1.5 miles to work and then the 1.5 miles back home. That's just under 1/2 hour walk, twice a day. When I get home, I make supper first, eat, then spend 1/2 hour checking the net or doing a piece of housework before to allow my food to settle, then I start my work out around 7:30 or 8. 1/2 hour on strength training and another 1/2 on cardio - cuz lets face it, I may walk alot but walking doesnt accomplish much. I can finish around 9 or so, I prepare the next day's meals to take to work, clean up and be done by 10.

    As for social life during the week, I don't have much of one at the moment simply because I recently moved to the area I'm at now. But I pretty much moved about three dozen times in my 33 years, so it's not like I have a bunch of people I've known for several years at a time. I take the weekend to break from my workout, rest, socialize, catch an event to photograph here and there.

    If I find something I absolutely want to do or if someone requests my time during the week, the workout can wait. The gym's not going anywhere.

    Again, it's what you want and how much you want it. Yeah, it's nice to be able to work out and get in shape. No one should make that their #1 focus in life. If you want a social life, go for it. You may have to work out harder the next day to make up for it, but at least your nurturing all aspects of yourself - mind, body, and soul.
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    Jan 11, 2009 3:15 AM GMT
    I'm not certain that you should aspire to a "swimmer's build." Typically, swimmers are very imbalanced (strong back, but, weak chest, shoulders, and arms with almost no legs), and have moderately high fat levels due to the cold water temperatures. Perhaps a better goal would be the balanced lines of a collegiate gymnast, who uses body weight resistance exercise to develop nearly every part of their body. Bodybuilders are basically gymnasts with more calories, heavier weights, and more cardio.

    The first you should do is to take all your measurements for posterity.
    Second, get a good postal scale from any office supply place.
    Third, download the USDA PCS 20 food calculator and calculate your caloric intake.
    Fourth, drink plenty of water.
    Fifth, do weight training one or two part a day, but don't do any parts other than arms more than once every 6 days.
    Sixth, do HIIT for 12 to 20 minutes every morning, or every night, but, not adjacent to a weight training workout.
    Seventh, get your calories up so you'll get lean, sleep well, and feel good. Eating a minimum of 6 times per day. Weigh your food. Put it in ziploc bags. Take it with you. Make nutrition a priority.
    Eighth, sleep.

    To really be successful, you'll need the facilities that only a commercial gym provides.
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    Jan 11, 2009 3:43 AM GMT
    Hi Guys,

    Wow, so many quality answers already! I had to laugh at the "move to France" comment though - I actually moved to Canada from France in April 2008 because I wanted to advance my career! So far it has been an EXCELLENT decision for my career.

    Firstly, I think I miss-phrased myself - I am very aware that a cut look is not the result of swimming alone, it just seems to be what it is called! That's why I'm at the gym so much! To be specific, I'm looking to be well toned generally and already have a very good (and intensive) training plan.

    Secondly, so far I summarize from what you are all saying that my expectations are realistic! That's a relief! But I'd like to know how you balance your careers, work-outs and homelife (I guess I know that the reason 6 years of relationship has been successful so far is the time and energy I put in!)

    Thirdly, don't worry - no drugs on the horizon for me!

    Finally, re: nutrition - I pay an awful lot of attention to my food. On the other hand, I don't want to be one of these annoying "oh no I'm south beach/vegan/enjoyment-intolerant" people.

    That's my issue - balancing a normal, successful well-balanced life and my physical goals. I'm especially keen to hear from other mid-level execs my age or older guys who have "made it" and "been there, done that".

    Thanks, and sorry for my muddled first message.

    William
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    Jan 11, 2009 3:50 AM GMT
    Drag your family and friends to work out with you-- do some fun classes with them. This way you can spend time with them while still getting in some sort of exercise. I know I am more motivated when I exercise with friends.
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    Jan 11, 2009 4:57 AM GMT
    WIlliam, you nor anyone else gets 36 hours per day.

    Not so sure how you view 'balance', but I would suggest the following priorities:

    1. Maintain your basic health - sleep so you are rested, drink so you are hydrated, and eat so that you get what you need and have a healthy wieght. Get in exercise basics to work the heart, maintain flexibility and muscle tone. This might only be 20 minutes a day.

    2. Keep your home, family, close friends and sex partner relationships maintained and functional so that you enjoy them and are strengthened by them. Do it within your means.

    3. Hold down a job that you enjoy.

    4. Work on the extras: super-hot body, high-paying job.


    Some people have it all ass backward - they think they need the hot bod or the crazy cash to have happiness (which they can get from just doing #1, #2 and #3.) - most often #2 is sacrificed for the high-paying job. The result is a society of isolated individuals 25% of which suffer from depression.

    Try to get 1-3 covered in 22 hours and work on 4 an additional 2 hrs and you should make progress. Try moving close to work or getting a job next to your house - the 150 minutes of commuting is killing your balance efforts.